What’s new in New York 2024?

The Magnificent Seven – emerging trends from the 2024 Fancy Food Show

The Brand Nursery has been attending The Fancy Food Show in New York since 2010. Along with meeting up with Clients and friends there we also take the opportunity to search out emerging new food ideas and trends, and look for interesting product innovations.

As ever, there were some examples of dynamic sectors that offer something that feels new, different and exciting (see Korea!). But this year we also found a number of established sectors now re-booting with their ‘2.0’ offerings – more considered, more about using innovation to broaden their appeal or audience, and often better and more diverse than the first iteration.


1. The Mediterranean diet

The benefits of the Mediterranean Diet have long been proclaimed, but this year we heard a lot of people talking about its importance. We also noticed a range of food offerings from Italy, Greece and North Africa attaching overt claims about their nutritional ‘cleanness’ under this umbrella. They appear to be positioning themselves as the antidote to ultra-processed food.

Paliria were offering products reflecting the best of Greek cuisine that exemplify  “the unique nutritional identity of our region’s raw materials and precious gifts of our fertile lands” to deliver longevity of life and better wellness.

Pranzo displayed a striking range of Italian ingredients and sauces that were positioned as “Mediterranean flavours, curated for you”.

Villa Jerada had a range based upon “Moroccan & Levantine pantry products that celebrate ancestral culinary traditions” and exemplified the North African contribution to this Diet.

New York FFS


2. Plant-based power

Plant-based alternatives have been around for a while. So has added protein. Now they are being combined to bring a more complete, nutritious offering.

Poshi (standing for ‘Power Of Simple Healthy Ingredients’) are all-natural premium veggies lightly marinated with Mediterranean herbs, then peeled and steamed to maintain texture and easy digestion.

Full Of Beans is a New York business that advocates the power of protein-rich beans in its products to help deliver a “Beaningful life”.

Tooties Tempeh from Maine proclaims to be “a premium and sustainable plant protein”, whilst I Eat My Greens from San Diego have a range of “mouth-watering plant powered soups”.

Plant Based


Plant Based


3. Say cheese

Another sector that seems to be going through a ‘2.0’ shift is dairy cheese.

We saw this via product innovation to make cheese more convenient for snacking, or for ‘portable’ eating, like Lotito Foods’ Cheese Wraps that offer a low-carb alternative to a bread wrap. Or Cheese Bits from California, that offer cheese in ‘pearl’ form for easy nibbling.

There were other cheeses, notably from  Dutch brand Kaamps Estate, that introduce flavour through unusual inclusions (pizza, apple pie…) and ‘washes’.

But we also noted that speciality cheese is becoming a bit like craft beer in its presentation. Instantly interesting labels from companies like Plymouth Cheese and Godminster that grab the attention; a bit steam punk, echoing beer brands like Brewdog in both attitude and packaging design.


4. Restore me

A few years ago we identified ‘The Joy Of Food’ as an emerging trend – lots of products that had playful, witty packaging, or that promoted the joyous experience of consumption.

Now this trend appears to have moved on to reflect more ‘inner happiness’.

Moment offers a range of soft drinks that claim to contain natural adaptogens and botanicals for “calm, clarity and vitality”.

Simpli is a US business that works with food producers in South America to deliver a range of regenerative ingredients to help restore the body and mind. Their ethical stance and practices lead them to claim they are “on a movement to connect people around the world through the joy of food”.

Ma Ha Virtue is a San Francisco food business that proclaims that its ingredient sourcing enables it to “curate experiences that nourish both the body and the soul”.

Restore Me


5. Seoul food

Korean food was all over this year’s Show, and not just with Hello Kitty Pot Noodles and pour over sauces. There was Korean speciality bread made from potatoes which actually looks like potatoes (odd, but intriguing), Kimbap (Korean sushi) and a number of products inspired by Korean street-food that created a real buzz at the Show.

Tornado potatoes (usually sold at fairgrounds or as a cheap street food snack) delivered a great hot hand-held snack to be eaten on the move. While talking to the importer he was desperate to show his next potential product – an ice cream smore finished by hand using a blow torch shaped like a dinosaur head or Iron Man’s glove…

Then there was Melona, who bring popular Asian flavours in the most approachable way possible – through ice cream – from their classic honeydew melon flavour to mango and ube (purple yam). It’s Korea’s number one ice cream brand and may have a big future outside Korea too judging by the big queues to try this one on a 90 degree day in NYC!





6. Do it myself

There were more kits than we have ever seen before at the Show, and not just the usual cake and cookie mixes.

There were a host of Italian food kits, covering everything from My Cooking Box’s Apperitivo product that allows for the creation of Friselle and Taralli bites with accompanying dips, through to The Ricotta Cheese Factory’s Cannoli kit.

We saw kits to create Boba tea, Kimimbap and Bimibap kits (more Korean influence!) and kits to make serving up smoked salmon and avocado that bit simpler.

And amongst the plethora of baking kits there was a range from Red Velvet that really did look like they would help the user to create something rather special.



7. Stuff that works

 The last example of the ‘2.0’ re-set is around new products that just really delivered and that therefore offer something a bit different in their sector.

 Republic of Tea are back at the Show having been away since 2019 – a great brand with a proper ‘story’ that is built on meaningful innovation. This year they had Tea Concentrates – an idea that doesn’t feel that revolutionary, but that did make the production of a tasty cup of tea just a little bit quicker.

Split Nutrition are on a mission to create simple snacks with real foods “to energize, satisfy, and spread smiles everywhere”. Their ‘split’ packs offer the combination of nut butter and juicy jelly spread to make the perfect ‘PBJ’ on the go.

Fly By Jing offered a range of striking, versatile Chinese food sauces that really delivered the “electric flavour” that they promised.

Fresh Paper isn’t a food product – it’s a plant-based paper that keeps food fresh. Simply by placing a sheet of the paper amongst fresh produce the manufacturer claims it will preserve it for up to four times longer, thus helping to reduce food waste.

Stuff that works


And stuff that is just a bit mad…

As ever, the Fancy Food Show had its regular array of slightly weird and esoteric stuff too – products that grab your attention, even if their long-term future seems a little tenuous.

This year we saw;

  • Zebra Pate – actually, pretty tasty
  • Rap Snacks – who wouldn’t want to share a bag of munchies with Snoop?
  • Coffee flavours inspired by doughnuts
  • Stingless Bee Honey – because…well, we’ve no idea really
  • And ‘Restructured Water’, which apparently involves passing water over quartz to re-establish its optimal molecular structure. We’re not entirely convinced
Bonkers stuff

James Acton & Chris Blythe – The Brand Nursery : June 2024